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Voice of the People

Jun. 20, 2013 @ 12:09 AM

Budget priorities will remain askew

The Oscar-winning "A Man For All Seasons" chronicled the give-and-take between Sir Thomas More and King Henry VIII. Rather than take an Oath of Supremacy proclaiming the King to be Supreme Head of the Church of England, More chose to remain silent, resigning his post. Although More's faith compelled him to reject a kingly head of a church, he maintained silence. When his silence was misinterpreted as disapproval, he countered with: qui tacet consentire (silence gives consent), stating that the only thing one could infer from silence was approval.

Though silence has its time and place, in matters of right and wrong, it can be dangerous. Chuck Landon's cynical attack on Marshall faculty in his June 2 column prompted my departmental chair to commendably request a written response from President Kopp and VP Ormiston to publicly refute the unfair, uneven handling of both faculty and truth. The deafening roar emanating from Old Main? Silence. So, what are we to conclude from this silence? Sir Thomas would say qui tacet consentire. In their silence, the best that we can conclude is that they agree the football team begat the Medical School (space prevents repeating all Mr. Landon's factual errors).

I can understand Mr. Landon's and his faithful readers' ignorance of the Marshall Mission (where words like "revenue to the area coffers" do not appear, and "athletic" appears but once). Only they know whether that arises from true ignorance or lack of curiosity. It is unacceptable, however, that the leaders of this university tacitly agree with that Mission's public misrepresentation. I suspect that Dr. Kopp would rather this whole thing just blow over. Though missives such as these may cease, the issue of misplaced budget priorities will never disappear until rectified. Silence can be many things, but it is never leadership.

Frank S. Gilliam,

Ph.D.

Professor

Biological Sciences

Marshall University

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